Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2422873 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 24, 1947
Filing dateMay 19, 1943
Priority dateMay 19, 1943
Publication numberUS 2422873 A, US 2422873A, US-A-2422873, US2422873 A, US2422873A
InventorsWolfner William F
Original AssigneePhotoswitch Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical conductivity cell
US 2422873 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 24, 1947- w. F. WOLFNER, 2D

ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY GEL-L File! May 19, 1943 Patented June 24, 1947 ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY CELL William F. Wolfner, II, Asbnry Park, N. 3.. ac-

slgnor to l'hotolwl toll Incorporated,

Mala, a corporation of Massachusetts Application May 19. 1943, Serial No. 487,072


the salinity of feed water for ships engines.

In accordance with such requirements, some of the principal objects of the present invention are to provide a device for the continuous measure-' ment, or the announcement of a predetermined value, of the conductivity of material subiect to temperature changes. to provid such a device which is eifectively related to a self-contained source of current of substantially constant voltage and frequency for energizing an alternating current measuring circuit containing conducting material such as a fluid column, to provide an arrangement of this type which furnishes exact measurements regardless of changes of the temperature of the material to be measured and of the ambient temperature, to provide such a device which can be completely insulated from the electric network of the plant of which it is part, and in general to provide an electrical resistance measuring and supervising device of thisxtype which is simple, rugged and safe in operation and hence especially suited for installations for which a minimum of maintenance and supervision and.

as far as possible, absence of-sources of failure is.


According to the present invention, alternating current is supplied directly from a self-contained source of constant voltage and frequency, preferably an oscillator, to a column of known conductivity in series with one whose conductivity is to of the invention.

These and" other objects, aspects and features will be apparent from the description. by way of example of the genus of the invention, of several practical embodiments thereof. this description referring to a drawing in which Fig. 1 is the circuit diagram of a salinity indicator especially suited for use on board ship;

Fi 2 is the diagram of one embodiment of the nrobe element indicated in Fig. 1: and

. rent of practically constant voltage is derived by 2 Figs. 3 and 4 are diagrammatic sections of further practical embodiments of the probe element of Fig. 2.

The apparatus shown in Fig. 1 may be supplied from a direct current line 8!, $2 from which cursuitable conventional means indicated by a gas filled voltage regulator tube To in series with limiting resistance Re. It is evident that. with suitable rectiiying means. an alternating current supply might be used.

Alternating current for the measuring circuit is derived from a conventional electronic oscillator, preferably of a type which is essentially stable with frequency, connected to constant voltage supply SI, SI. Such an oscillator may consist of tube T0 with anode al, grid al and cathode Icl The anode circuit, separated from the direct current supply by choke coil Ll, feeds through bypass condenser Ca and feed-back control resistance Ra into a tuned circuit with condenser Co and inductance Llwhich is connected to supply terminal SI and inductively coupled to inductance L3 connected to 'grid cl. Suitable potential levels for cathode kl and grid at are provided by resist ances- R9 and Rk.

The oscillatory energy of the tuned circuit is applied, through coupling resistance R0, to the control grid 02 of amplifier and buffer tube Ta whose anode a2 is connected to the primary'of a transformer L4 whose secondary feeds into a detecting circuit with potentiometer resistor Rd, terminal wire 84 and tap N. The tap N of resistor Rd is connected to a probe contact A. The primary of a transformer LI, which couples the detecting circuit to a measuring circuit, is connected on the one side to a second probe contact B and on the side to terminal BI and a third probe contact C. Tap N may be arranged for change over from contact A to contact B, by means of switch st, and the primary of transformer Ll may have a bridging switch s2.

The secondary of transformer Ll is on the one side connected to supply terminal SI, and on the other to cathode kl of a rectifier tube Tr whose anode a3 is coupled, by means of resistor Rm, to the grid 04 with condenser Cm of a measuring amplifier tube Tm with anode a4 and cathode kl.

Proper relation between the potentials of grid at and cathode k4 is maintained by means of adlustable resistance Rn.

The anode d4 of meter tube Tm is connected to Dr. As shown in Fig. 1. the movable contact of switch s3 may be connected to a point between lamps By and Dr connected in series between source terminals Si and S2, and the two fixed contacts joined to Si and S2, respectively, so that either Do or Dr and n is bridged depending on the position of the movable contact of 83,

Between the probe terminals A and B isconnected a known resistance 11:, and between terminals B and C the resistance Tx, of similar temperature-resistance relation, to be measured. In the present instance, r: is represented by a column of liquid of predetermined conductivity, whereas Tx is the resistance of the column of liquid whose conductivity is to be 7 detected, indicated and measured. These columns may for example consist of sea water, in which case the conductivity will be proportionate to the salinity of the water.

For the purpose of compensating for temperature variations, these solutions are arranged within a compensating medium, for example as indicated in Fig. 2, where V is a vessel containing a fluid column representing resistance Tk, where U is a. vessel with a fluid column of unknown varying resistance Tx, and where W is a container filled with heat conductingmaterial which maintains Ti: and Tx at the same temperature.

In the embodiment according to Fig. 3 a standard solution I, representing resistance rr, is contained in a conducting vessel 2 connected to terminal A. The solution 3 of varying concentration flows through conducting vessel 4 conductively connected to a probe 5 immersed in solution i. A second probe 8 is immersed in solution 3 andconnected to terminal C, whereas both vesmay be used, which is somewhat simpler than that of Fig. 3. In this embodiment, the standard resistance solution It inclosed vessel It serves also as temperature equalizing solution, and envelopes the solution H to be measured, flowing through closed vessel i8. Probe i8 is connected to terminal A, vessel I8 to terminal 3, and probe 20 to terminal C. The probes and vessels are properly insulated from each other as indicated in Fig, 4; suitable ducts for carrying the fluid ii to be supervised through vessel l8 are indicated at 2| and 22,.

This arrangement functions as follows:

The output energy of the oscillator applies a substantially constant voltage E, of substantially constant frequency, across points 54 and N of detecting resistor Rd, which voltage E is applied to terminals A and C. The voltage E and the voltage e between terminals 0 and B follow the relation is then independent of the temperature.

The voltage e appears between terminals B and C, and hence across transformer L! which impresses a voltage proportionate thereto on grid gt of tube Tm, upon rectification by tube Tr.

Accordingly, the conductivity of tube Tm will be proportionate to e and therefore to r: by the expression r: z+ k and coil M will respond and move switch 33 when resistance 1: is below, and hence the concentration of solution 3 exceeds a predetermined value, this response'being unaffected by the temperature of equalizing liquid II in vessel i2. Millimeter m, if properly calibrated, will directly indicate the concentration of solution I.

By adjusting magnet M for response at a selected value of e, a green lamp 9 can be caused to burn so long as the concentration remains below a permissible value proportionate to that value of e, whereas the red lamp Dr willlig-htup and the alarm sound when the concentration exceeds that permissible value.

It will now be understood that the standard solution need not be connected between terminals A and B, but can be connected between B and C, with the unknown solution connected between A and B provided that a function between E and e is maintained which is similar to that explained above with reference to Fig. 2.

It will also be understood that a single device according to Fig. 1 can be used for supervising the concentration at a considerable number of points, by arranging a selector switch at terminal points A', B, C, as for example indicated at 84 of Fig. 4, where Al, Bi, Ci; A2, B2, C2 indicate the terminals oi detecting units similar to the one shown in that figure.

It will be apparent that devices of the type herein described can be used not only for measuring the conductivity of liquids but also for measuring that of solid material either comminuted or in single pieces. If powdered material is to be tested, a probe quite similar to those of Figs. 2 to 4 but having suitably widened ports 2| and 22 can be used: for the testing oi piece specimen, contact clamps replacing for example probes 2, 4, 5 and 6 of Fig. 3 will be employed.

It will be further evident that connection of tap N with terminal B by means of switch si will apply the full potential of N to L5 and hence eflect the maximum reading of meter m. whereas closure of switch 02 will shunt L5 and hence effect the minimum reading of meter m.

Still further, it will be apparent that the measuring circuit of the device according to the invention is completely isolated from the power a first and a second vessel of which at least the second is conductive and which are adapted to receive a first and a second fluid, respectively, one or which fluids is of known conductivity and the other of which is of unknown conductivity; five mounting bushings, four of which are mounted in the walls or said first vessel and the fifth of which is of insulating material and is mounted in the 'wall of said second vessel; said second vessel being mounted in the first of said bushings, extending substantially within said first vessel, and having a. portion exterior to said first vessel mounting said fifth bushing; a first and a second pipe means extending through the second and third of said bushings, rigidly conneoted to said second vessel, and adapted to pass fluid through said second vessel; a first probe electrode extending substantially into said first vessel through and supported by the fourth of said bushings; a second electrode extending substentially into said second vessel through and supported by saidffifth bushing; and three terminais adapted for making connections to said first electrode, said second electrode and said second vessel respectively.


. 6 REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 933,015 Bishop Aug. 31, 1909 1,870,995 Greer Aug. 9, 1932 2,254,400 Starr Sept. 2, 1941 1,307,821 Behr June 2, 1931 1,826,886 Keeler Oct. 13, 1931 2,254,399 Starr Sept. 2, 1941 2,370,609 Wilson et al. Feb. 27, 1945 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 1 466,530 Germany Apr. 27, 1929 73,216 Austria ..4 Mar. 10, 1917

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US933015 *Sep 5, 1907Aug 31, 1909Gen Chemical CorpMethod and apparatus for testing fluids.
US1807821 *Jan 9, 1929Jun 2, 1931Leeds & Northrup CoConductivity cell
US1826886 *Oct 22, 1923Oct 13, 1931Brown Instr CoMeasuring electric conductivity of fluid
US1870995 *Dec 15, 1927Aug 9, 1932Leeds & Northrup CoElectric control system
US2254399 *Jan 26, 1940Sep 2, 1941Dearborn Chemicals CoConcentration testing apparatus and method
US2254400 *Jan 26, 1940Sep 2, 1941Dearborn Chemicals CoConcentration testing system and method
US2370609 *Apr 28, 1941Feb 27, 1945Economics LabConcentration cell and temperature compensator
AT73216B * Title not available
DE466530C *Jan 9, 1926Apr 27, 1929Ig Farbenindustrie AgVerfahren zur fortlaufenden Messung der Konzentration elektrolytisch leitender Fluessigkeiten
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2565121 *Jun 2, 1947Aug 21, 1951Swift & CoControl apparatus
US2599583 *Nov 15, 1946Jun 10, 1952Petrolite CorpMethod and apparatus for testing suspensions
US2611113 *Feb 2, 1951Sep 16, 1952Photoswitch Marine Division InElectrolyte indicating and control apparatus
US2611806 *Feb 25, 1949Sep 23, 1952Patterson O StewartTesting device for voltage and current regulators
US2621673 *Jun 12, 1948Dec 16, 1952Hodgens Jr John GElectronic solution control apparatus
US2651751 *Dec 14, 1949Sep 8, 1953Heath Howard RApparatus for measuring resistance
US2696588 *Jul 18, 1950Dec 7, 1954Heyl & PattersonSurface moisture detection system
US2712111 *May 12, 1950Jun 28, 1955The Diversey Corporationfarison
US2729786 *Dec 17, 1945Jan 3, 1956Raytheon Mfg CoMeans for treating substances
US2972103 *Oct 31, 1957Feb 14, 1961Ind Instr IncPortable recording instrument
US2985827 *Aug 5, 1957May 23, 1961Hasenkamp John FMoisture sensing means
US3075143 *May 24, 1960Jan 22, 1963Amchem ProdElectrical measuring equipment
US3086169 *Jan 15, 1960Apr 16, 1963Leeds & Northrup CoSystems for measuring electrolytic conductivity
US3265963 *Apr 12, 1962Aug 9, 1966Commissariat Energie AtomiqueDevice for continuously measuring the difference between the conductivities of two liquids
US3273580 *Jan 27, 1964Sep 20, 1966 Solution concentration control and make-up system
US3314059 *Sep 24, 1962Apr 11, 1967Albert Keep GeorgeApparatus for detecting and controlling the presence of sewage and other sludges in a liquid
US6426629Jan 13, 1997Jul 30, 2002Gambro AbMethod and apparatus for measuring an electrical parameter of a fluid
WO1997025615A1 *Jan 13, 1997Jul 17, 1997Cambridge ConsultantsMethod and apparatus for measuring an electrical parameter of a fluid
U.S. Classification324/442, 324/437
International ClassificationG01N27/07, G01N27/06, G01N27/04
Cooperative ClassificationG01N27/046, G01N27/07
European ClassificationG01N27/04D1, G01N27/07